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Jessica Fjeld

IT’S A BIRD WHAT CAN I SAY

 

Here’s where I try to tell you

what makes the luck grow inside

 

And you say what do you know about it, you’re an egg

but you do it with love

 

I’m in your head

a pointed roof in a fine rain

 

How everything is made of pipes

including the brakes of this bicycle

 

And flowing through those pipes is what

The juice of I-knew-you-when and

 

We-made-this-thing-together-

come-home

 

-

 

THE NATURALIST

 

 

Who am I to speak for the wolf

as though I had its eyes or teeth

knew where it runs

Who I am to speak for the whole wolf

or even half of it

To say, this is the legitimate perspective

of one constituent part

of a wolf

 

I am a fucking naturalist

Awesome in my range of inquiry

Hummingbirds come up to me

to check my face and neck for flowers

My clothes are too tight

and I am often found

in the steam of some sulfurous valley

 

I am a fucking naturalist

The world to me is like

a doll’s house

I have selected all the furniture

and it is very small

The change in size endows the world with charm

so people follow me around

to see me handle the tiny trees

the perfect miniature boa constrictor

that hunts the pet dogs at the edges of this little village

It’s perfect

each and every scale fitted to the next to form a surface still smooth

through a magnifying glass

slick like metal

but radiating a deadly heat

The snake goes after another dog

 

Who told the monarchs to migrate?

Not me I was with the desert wind

Telling it to blow

 

 

THE OTHER KIND OF KINDNESS

 

 

You would think that people

would be either dying

 

or not dying,

but it is a different kind of thing now

 

Standing at the edge here,

most of the world visible in the spaces between our toes,

 

it’s come to be the only place we can breathe

Grand swoops of manifest-destiny blue

 

I’m not coming to you as anybody’s voice in particular

We were hoping to give new life to something,

 

like maybe the cowhide rug

People are dying as a way not to get sick,

 

and by are I mean they will. That is how we go about things

Some birds not all don’t age

 

When I don’t tell you I am dying

it is because I am in my head                        

 

inviolate

deciding whether you already know

 

-

 

ALSO, THANK YOU

 

I felt that it had been years

I went around telling everyone I met

that everything was roughly the same

The words did not differ so much

from each other that they could not be extracted from what, after all,

was just the great so-so everything that we lived in,

like a carpeted townhouse with many short flights of stairs,

each landing equally unsurprising

And us thinking

certainly it could happen tomorrow

 

So that it was only when we slept

that the bones of the fish we ate for dinner

reorganized and called out

Wished to be at least acknowledged if not appreciated

if not leaned deeply into

if not identified as the bearer of so many incidental snobberies

It’s like I can’t even tell them this

Like I can’t speak back to my dinner and say

Congratulations

and it says

Congratulations for what

 

-

 

A LOVE POEM FROM NOT AS FAR AWAY

 

 

To put it simply,

being with you is like

looking out

the window of an airplane

 

There are the square fields and

clutches of trees that are maybe hiding houses

and you can’t always tell

if the city

you’re looking at

is the city

you think it is

 

It makes

a certain kind of sense

and also a certain

kind of

not-sense

 

The trees are

like hair

 

The mountains

are inside out

and that

is the way

that I like it

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